A 95-year-old World War II veteran has defied critics of elderly motorists by passing his advanced driving test.
Norman Lawrence, a retired businessman from Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, achieved his qualification from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
He signed up with the Gordon branch of the IAM after listening to a radio phone-in in which it was proposed that motorists should relinquish their licences at the age of 90.
Mr Lawrence proceeded to pass the advanced test quicker than most
The determined veteran decided to share the news of his achievement after a story in Wednesday’s Press and Journal suggest that three in five motorists thought that older motorists should be obliged to retake their ordinary driving tests on reaching the age of 66.
Although he has been driving for more than 70 years, the Dunkirk veteran has no intention of relinquishing the keys to his Ford Mondeo in the foreseeable future.
“I’m out in the car every day,” he said. “Golfing twice a week, bowls in the winter and I take a crowd of OAPs out every Sunday for a run and some lunch.”
Mr Lawrence says he does not feel that his ability to drive has been impaired by his age.
He said: “I’m a better driver now than I was a young man. You settle down as you get older and you don’t take the same risks. Not that I get in other folks’ road, though. You won’t find me holding anybody up.”
John Buchan, the secretary of the IAM branch where Mr Lawrence took his test, praised the 95-year-old’s determination and achievement, saying there was no stopping him when he put his mind to something.
“He joined the group after all the other people had already started, but Norman being Norman, he made sure he went out with other advanced drivers and even a police instructor and passed in no time at all.
Mr Buchan commented that Mr Lawrence was definitely the group’s oldest advanced driver, and almost certainly the oldest advanced driver in the country.
According to Mr Buchan, there may have been a 100-year-old who passed the test in England.
“But if that’s true,” he said, “it was a long time ago, so Norman is almost certainly the oldest around.
“The examiner said he was an excellent driver. He’s confident observant, his reactions are very good and there’s no hanging about below the speed limit.
“He’s a great advert for older drivers.”